The Life of Stuff
Time Out saysWillie Dobie (Flemyng) is a man with ambition, imagination and lots of drugs. He also has a warehouse where he's preparing a party to celebrate the fact that, by means of a flaming van, he's just got shot of rival-in-crime Alec Sneddon. Where, too, variously crazed individuals are on hand: a pair of party girls; unloved eczematic Leonard (McQuarrie) and volatile janitor Arbogast (Hinds); and, meeting decidedly uncute down in the dank basement, nauseously hungover Janice (McKee) and skinny Fraser (Bremner), the last shivering in his smalls since he returned from what he believed was just some insurance scam involving a burnt-out van. Donald's dark, surreal, Scottish low-life farce may have delivered a sickening punch on stage, but on screen, as directed heavy-handedly by himself, the relentlessly OTT scuzziness, violence and hysteria is merely oppressive. True, the dry, black humour's still there in the dialogue, and most of the cast manage some semblance of recognisably human behaviour. But the ironic (?) use of inappropriately lush music, the cluttered, sometimes near-incoherent narrative, and the contrived metaphysics and humanism simply don't convince on the screen.